I once saw a film called The Draughtsman’s Contract. I couldn’t tell you what it was about but it was visually stunning. The dialogue and costumes were very formal and straight-laced, but there was a violent and seething passion beneath the mathematical surface, behind the geometric topiary and in the strictly repetitive score by Michael Nyman.
Human Minds, Robot Hearts has a similar effect on me. It is beautiful. And the strict beats and rhythms of programmed machines are the structures inside which passion stirs and lifts.
I have looked forward to this EP for a while. I am a fan of Leaving Richmond and love to listen to them while travelling, particularly through cities. I find the music exciting and extremely uplifting and positive. It intensifies the simple, rhythmic joy of being alive.
I stood on the roof of a skyscraper right in the middle of New York, looking down at the teeming streets of Times Square as it grew dark and marvelled at the streams of coloured cars, lights, and the weaving rhythm of people. It all moved in a symmetry and there was necessary co-operation involved, to make it all move forward. I remember feeling a huge wave of affection for my species, and a rush of excitement that I would be down amongst them very soon.
This EP makes me feel like that.
I honestly don’t know what kind of music it is, and it really doesn’t matter. It has no singer, which is why it feels so wide and panoramic – because my ears aren’t drawn to one point. I’m not listening to a voice or lyrics. I am hearing just the rise and flow of the instruments, the propulsion, the journey.
There are shades of Low-era Bowie, some creaking Massive Attack, a little early Portishead and a touch of Cocteau Twins but…well, hopeful and positive without being twee.
If ‘instrumental rock’ isn’t your cup of tea, then buy this EP because it’s so much more than a label suggests. It is easily accessible, joyous and will make you want to travel.
It’s for sale on iTunes, so give it a go.
You won’t be sorry.